Bill McQuaid is a Cambridge, Massachusetts based country blues performer who plays songs primarily from the 1920s and 1930s on a clunky old 1931 National Steel guitar. Bill covers Son House, Skip James, Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Willie McTell, and Blind Lemon Jefferson, to name a few. Bill has studied country blues with Paul Rishell, Bertrand Laurence, Scott Ainslie, and Robert Jones.
Passing it On, Bill's debut CD, was released in February of 2004. The CD, produced by Frank Coakley, features Boston area musicians Jim Fitting on harmonica, Paul Kochanski on upright bass, Johnny Mac on harmonica ( on Big Road ) and Steve Sadler on mandolin, mandola, 12- string, Dobro, and Duolian.
"The debut CD from local lad Bill McQuaid is exquisite. All country-blues fans need to check this out immediately. Played and sung with respect to the past and devotion to the genre. Each time I air a cut on Highway 61 Revisited, the phones light up and the emails start rolling in. The old Masters must be grinnin' from ear to ear right about now!"
Barnes Newberry, Host "Highway 61 Revisited," WUMB
"Bill McQuaid is a master of the country blues; his ability to call upon the spirits of the early masters, Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Tommy Johnson, a testament to his own skill, and a loving tribute to the legacy of the music of those who first created it. For fans of the Southern troubadours, Bill McQuaid's 'Passing It On' is a must-have."
Brendan Hogan, Host/Producer of "Blues On WGBH"
"...propulsive, beautifully crafted acoustic blues..."
Daniel Gewertz, Boston Herald
"...excellent, old-timey blues."
Steve Morse, Boston Globe
"It takes a rare breed of musician to sing and play Delta and Country Blues with authenticity. What's needed is deep respect for the idiom, sweat over the details, love, work, and an over-arching understanding of the indefinable. Bill McQuaid is such a musician, and these recordings are ample proof. Plus, he chose great material...pass it on!"
Geoff Bartley, singer/songwriter